One characteristic of components is that they must have the capability to be streamed. Streaming is a way to store a component and information regarding its properties' values to a file. Delphi's streaming capabilities take care of all this for you. In fact, the DFM file created by Delphi is nothing more than a resource file containing the streamed information on the form and its components as an RCDATA resource. As a component writer, however, you must sometimes go beyond what Delphi can do automatically. The streaming mechanism of Delphi is explained in depth in Chapter 12 of Delphi 6 Developer's Guide.